Women’s Golf: Northwestern finishes season-low 14th at Darius Rucker Intercollegiate

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Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Northwestern golfer Irene Kim watches her swing. Irene Kim missed this year’s Silverado Showdown to play in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

MaryKate Anderson, Reporter

Northwestern turned in its lowest finish of the season at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate this week, coming in 14th in a field of 17 teams with a team score of 896 across the three rounds. 

The team finished the tournament 44-above par, not particularly unusual in comparison to its past Darius Rucker Intercollegiate results. The event is traditionally cold, windy and often rainy on an already challenging course. This week at Hilton Head, South Carolina was no different, with Monday seeing particularly cool and brisk conditions. 

While each of the participating teams were ranked in the top-50 nationally, the Wildcats were the lowest of them all at No. 48. The field was composed of eight top-20 teams, all of which finished ninth or better. 

No. 5 Wake Forest took home the Darius Rucker trophy, finishing nine-over par — an exceptional performance when accounting for the unruly weather. No. 4 South Carolina, the event’s host, earned a second-place finish with an 18-over par.

NU kicked off the tournament with a solid 10th place tie on Monday, recording a 12-over par with a score of 296. However, the squad struggled the next day, concluding Tuesday’s round with a 16-over par and dropping them to 13th in the standings. 

And the Cats are nothing if not consistent. The team shot another 16-over in Wednesday’s third round, ultimately not enough to combat their competitors’ improvement. It landed them a 14th place finish. 

Freshman Lauryn Nguyen headlined the team’s outing. She closed out the tournament with a 16th place finish on a 5-over par, the best mark from NU and her fourth top-20 finish of the season. Nguyen’s youth has proved vital for the Cats as she continues to provide nod-worthy showings.  

Nguyen produced consistently impressive performances for NU at Darius Rucker, firing 73s on Monday and Tuesday and a one-over 72 on Wednesday. Notably, she recorded 11 birdies over the three rounds, the second most of any of the event’s participants.

Sophomore Jieni Li earned the Cats’ only other top-50 finish, landing at 41st on a 10-over.NU was also represented by sophomore Jennifer Cai, senior Kelly Sim and senior Jane Lu. 

With the exception of September’s Mason Rudolph Invitational, the Cats were finishing each tournament in at least the middle of the field. But, with just two events left in the season before the Big Ten Championship, the team will look to bounce back to their original performance level — or better.

The Darius Rucker Intercollegiate was broadcast live on the Golf Channel, the first ever all-women’s regular season collegiate event to do so.

The Cats’ next outing is the Ping ASU Invitational beginning March 25, quickly followed by the Silverado Showdown beginning April 4. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @mkeileen

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